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Simpsons joins AZB-SAM gravytrain in $1.5bn KKR also-want-buy into Jio

The line of investors patiently queuing outside Reliance Industries’ frontdoors has only been getting longer, though the lines of law firms has remained a by-now routine short list of AZB, SAM plus a new international firm.

Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas’ national head of corporate, Raghubir Menon, commented: “It has been a pleasure to assist our regular clients, General Atlantic and KKR, on their investments into Jio Platforms Limited. These levels of deal activity, in such uncertain times, is wonderful news for India Inc.”

Private equity giant KKR, clearly not wanting to be left behind in a market with limited, relatively low-risk opportunities, has given Jio its fifth consecutive fundraising round (after Facebook, Silver Lake, Vista, and General Atlantic).

KKR matched Vista Equity's $1.5bn round, also getting the same 2.32% share in Jio Platforms for its commitment to the cause at the standard cost of around $649m for each Jio percent (Facebook, though, got in slightly cheaper and earlier at $575m for each percent, buying 9.9% into Jio on top of promised collaboration on retail and elsewhere).

Despite these deals being processed one by one, this is really much like a single round of fundraising, staggered into a series of rounds.

Most likely, this is a savvy money-saving move from Reliance that is likely to save at least some cash on due diligence, documentation and negotiation, while also avoiding all the Covid-lockdowned investors and dozens of lawyers tripping over each other on simultaneous video calls.

AZB & Partners acted for Reliance Industries and Jio Platforms, led, yet again, by partner Ashwath Rau, with partners Nilanjana Singh and Bharat Budholia, and senior associate Gaurav Bansal.

Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas acted for KKR led by partner Raghubir Menon, with partners Natashaa Shroff and Sakshi Mehra.

Simpson Thacher Bartlett was international counsel to KKR, led by Hong Kong-based partner Ian Ho.

Davis Polk acted for Reliance Industries again on international advice.

Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio Platforms has agreed to sell 2.32% stake to U.S. equity firm KKR in what is the fifth major deal the top Indian telecom operator has secured in just as many weeks. — Techcrunch

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